Goodbye, Heidi
by ilyana
Sat May 20, 2006 at 11:27:51 AM PST

 Periodically I get the urge to find people I haven't seen or heard from in years.  Yesterday, when indulging that urge, I was devastated. I had tried to locate a woman who had cared for my fosterson, when he was a toddler, 16 years ago.    He is now a 6' 2 1/2'' gentle giant.  I thought it would be a fun reunion, if she could see how he had grown. I don't know why her name, Heidi Frohring, popped into my head,  but it did.  I googled her name and immediately found a website* created as a memorial to her.  I thought "impossible, this must be a different Heidi!"  Heidi was lively, vivacious, creative and kind.  Heidi was barely an adult, when she took care of TJ.. She wore imported dresses and wild hats, on her wilder red curls.   TJ loved her as only a toddler loves, with wide eyed wonder and lots of giggles.  Especially when she took him for drives in her VW convertible, with the top off.   She used to sing a nonsense song with TJ, and dance with him:

A pumpkin and a bet,
A pumpkin and a bet.
That's where it's at,
A pumpkin and a bet!

I studied the central picture on the website*... It is a side shot with her hand extended toward a tapir. Tapir, as in beast that looks like a midget version of an ant-eater. Heidi, memorialized, was a zookeeper. Her red hair in the photo is shorter, and I could not see her full face. I still wanted to believe that this was a different Heidi. The Heidi Frohring I knew could not be dead from pneumonia at age 38, a year ago May 1. But how many Heidi Frohrings could there be with curly red hair in Seattle? How many in the WORLD, for that matter?
I started looking for old pictures in my box of photographs. I found a couple of Heidi. There she was holding up TJ's hands in a cheer, with her face right by his.. And then I went back to memorial page and scrolled down the website. There are two more pictures of her. It was Heidi alright. How does a vibrant 38 year old woman die of pneumonia?

original page: ilyana's blog


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